Friday, February 26, 2010

Final Card: Gordy Coleman

This is the final card for the Reds' early-1960's 1st baseman Gordy Coleman (#61).

Coleman was signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1953, and played in the minor leagues from 1953 to 1960, beginning with Reading, PA and Spartanburg, SC (both would be Phillies' outposts in future decades). After missing the 1957 and 1958 seasons while in the military, Gordy returned for one more season in the Indians' organization, capped by his major-league debut (6 games) in September 1959.

After the 1959 season, Coleman was traded (along with 2nd baseman Billy Martin and pitcher Cal McLish) to the Reds for 2nd baseman Johnny Temple.

In 1960 Coleman played 93 games at triple-A Seattle, before being called up to Cincinnati. He made his Reds' debut on July 24th, replacing Frank Robinson as the regular 1st baseman, and starting all but 1 of the remaining games.



Coleman maintained his grip on the starting first baseman's role until about July 1963. In the 2nd half of that season, he began sharing the position more and more with Don Pavletich and Marty Keough. In 1964, he took a back seat to the newly-acquired Deron Johnson, starting 48 games to Johnson's 106.

In 1965 Gordy shared the starting assignments with rookie Tony Perez. The following season was more of the same, but in addition to alternating with Perez, Deron Johnson also started a bunch of games at first.

The death knell for Coleman's career was the arrival of rookie first baseman Lee May in 1967. Perez moved over to third base, but Johnson and May each started about 70 games at 1st base. Coleman only played 4 games with the Reds that season (the last on May 3rd), then was sent to the minors where he played 30+ games each for two triple-A teams: Buffalo (Reds) and Spokane (Dodgers).

1 comment:

Billy the Kid said...

Gordy Coleman supervised the trampoline at the Cincinnati Williams YMCA in the late 60's and was inspiring.